WHO Director Faces Calls to Resign Over Coronavirus, China Cover-Up
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus faces backlash from politicians around the world
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is facing calls to resign from American politicians and others around the world over criticism that his organization failed to respond appropriately to the coronavirus and facilitate China's cover-up.
Leading the calls for Ghebreyesus's resignation is Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who said that she has "never trusted a communist" and that Chinese government's "cover-up of this virus that originated with them has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world... I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down."
She said she blamed Tedros for China's lack of transparency on Friday.
"Dr. Tedros deceived the world," she said.
"At one point, he even praised China's 'transparency during its coronavirus response efforts' despite a mountain of evidence showing the regime concealed the severity of the outbreak. This deception cost lives. "
Tedro has repeatedly backed off China since the coronavirus outbreak.
Following President Donald Trump's a travel ban for foreign nationals who recently visited China in February, Tedros said that the responses "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade," Reuters reported.
He also praised China in a tweet on March 20, saying:
"[f]or the first time, #China had reported no domestic #COVID19 cases yesterday. This is an amazing achievement, which gives us all reassurance that the #coronavirus can be beaten."
But Tedros' tweet comes amid reports of China's inaccurate reporting of the epidemic.
Coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, admitted that they "didn’t know how contagious” coronavirus was due to holes in the data reported by China.
China was accused of covering up the scale of the virus in its early stages in January, which many have argued took away valuable time in containing COVID-19.
“At the time, when this virus stuck…I was working very intently on HIV at the time, and was overseas in sub-Saharan Africa, watching the data coming from China," Birx said.
"And I think when we looked at the profile, first, there was a question about human-to-human transmission."
Tedro's comment has been used in China to boost the nation's message as it seeks to deflect blame for the pandemic.
The University of Southampton also claimed the virus could have been "reduced by 95 percent globally" if China acted three weeks earlier.
After the US secretary of State, Mike Pompeo accused China of spreading propaganda, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying reacted by tweeting:
"Stop lying through your teeth!" the spokesperson said of Pompeo.
"As WHO experts said, China's efforts averted hundreds of thousands of infection cases."
Taiwan also claimed that they told WHO very early about coronavirus spreading person-to-person, and WHO ignored them.
“Taiwan rapidly produced and implemented a list of at least 124 action items in the past five weeks to protect public health,” report co-author Jason Wang, a Taiwanese doctor and associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford Medicine, said in a statement.
“The policies and actions go beyond border control because they recognized that that wasn’t enough.”